Ten small business accelerator pilot grants to support new and existing businesses in eight TDI Districts
HAVERHILL – During Massachusetts Small Business Month, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded $330,000 to eight Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) districts to support downtown improvements for business growth and job creation.
Lieutenant Governor Polito joined Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini, MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones and local business leaders to announce the awards at Battle Grounds Coffee in Haverhill, following a tour of small businesses operating in Haverhill’s TDI District.
“The Commonwealth is home to more than 600,000 small businesses that create jobs and support our local economies,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is committed to providing innovative tools through these grants to bolster economic growth in every zip code.”
“Small businesses create a strong economic foundation by generating new products and solutions, and attracting a talented and skilled workforce to the Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “I’m proud of our administration’s dedication to small businesses to support our downtowns.”
The TDI Small Business Accelerator Grant Program is a joint initiative from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and MassDevelopment.
“Successful small businesses help our cities and towns thrive, which is why we support efforts like the Transformative Development Initiative and the Massachusetts Downtown Initiative,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “These programs give us the tools to effectively deploy resources throughout the state, targeting the individual needs of our communities.”
“TDI has proven time and again to be a testing ground for the Commonwealth to pilot programs aimed at growing businesses and creating jobs,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We are grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration and the Legislature for their ongoing support of small business development throughout the Commonwealth, and thrilled to help spur increased commercial activity in our TDI Districts through this new program.”
The program requires awardees to demonstrate a competitive match and makes grants through four categories: Local Lift, to enhance storefront improvement programs; Lease it Local, to provide financing to businesses intending to fill vacant storefronts; Find it Local, to increase businesses’ visibility, marketing, lighting, and wayfinding; and a unique program category designed by the applicant to support small businesses within their district.
The City received a $25,000 Local Lift grant that it will match with $25,000 to enhance its existing façade improvement program with increased design, lighting, and interior services that will incentivize business owners to become involved with the program. The City also received a $35,000 Lease it Local grant that it will match with $8,750 to provide seed funding for creative business start-ups, galleries, and other microenterprises to take root in vacant sections of the TDI District.
“Haverhill will make great use of these state grants aimed at supporting existing small businesses and local start-ups through MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative underway in the city,” said State Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives. “This funding will strengthen Haverhill’s façade improvement program and provide seed funding for creative start-up businesses to lease in vacant spaces located in the Transformative Development District.”
“I am pleased to partner with the Baker-Polito administration to provide these state resources to support the continued progress and development in downtown Haverhill,” said Representative Brian S. Dempsey. “This funding will further bolster the ongoing revitalization of downtown by helping both existing business owners invest in improvements and assisting efforts to attract new and innovative economic development ideas to Haverhill.”
“I want to thank Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, Representative Brian Dempsey, our Legislative Delegation and Marty Jones at Mass Development for their support of the Merrimack Street Transformative District,” said Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini. “These grants will help expand our storefront improvement efforts and expand retail opportunities for entrepreneurs and shoppers alike.”